Aimed at empowering the deaf community, AtulyaKala is providing livelihood to hearing-impaired individuals and has conducted more than 500 hours of workshops on sign language.
Before founding Atulyakala, Smriti Nagpal had joined the National Association of the Deaf when she was only 16. After completing her business administration degree, she started working at Doordarshan as a news anchor for their hearing-impaired news bulletins. But one day when she met Amit Vardhan, a deaf artist in a local market of Delhi, and shared a heartwarming conversation in sign language, she decided to do something! In 2013, she started Atulyakala with an aim to provide opportunities and inclusivity to the hearing-impaired community and hasn’t stopped since then.
” We are connecting society through art. Our motto is to promote sign language in India as it’s not very common here. There is a huge gap for the deaf community, and so we are trying to bridge this gap with our brand and workshops.”, said Smriti Nagpal, founder of Atulyakala.
Atulyakala has conducted more than 500 hours of workshops as of now. Before the pandemic and the lockdown, they were conducting pop-ups in different cities. Each of these workshops would have around quite a lot of people involved. ” Our team has trained more than 10,000 individuals with sign language.”, she added.
During the lockdown also they continued their work by organizing things online. ” We were getting regular queries from the people so we started online. At present we have put a benchmark of 15 people per batch, and have 2 scheduled workshops in July.’, she said.
Atulyakala has local artisans working with them from all across the country including many small villages and cities in Haryana, UP, and Rajasthan. It has a fantastic collection of stationary, Home Decor Products, and Bags. ” We have been training them with product curation and sourcing of the raw materials. We keep on launching new products and also train them through online mediums. However, all these artists are very talented and we just help them by shaping and identifying their skills.’, she further mentioned.
Atulyakala has 90% deaf team members with Sign language as their mode of communication. From Design to sales to marketing, all its departments are managed by the deaf and mute team members. Other than conducting workshops, this lifestyle brand also hosts an event ‘ Art+ Heart’ every year. By keeping sign language as its core part, their Heart project is an event where deaf people come together. They create works of art, music, dance, and poetry.
” I joined Atulyakala when I completed my graduation. It was a challenge for me initially as I did not know sign language then. It was also very surprising to know that these people have so much talent. So, when I actually started working with them and saw them it felt like an opportunity. It’s been amazing.”, said Gourav Kumar, Community Manager at Atulyakala.
Smriti Nagpal along with a team of 7 is definitely doing an amazing job. From providing livelihood opportunities to spreading awareness about the Indian Sign Language, she is running a brand that is helping hearing-impaired individuals pave their path. Local Samosa wishes team Atulyakala great luck and more power!